psychedelia

Recent content on Elsewhere by Graham Reid tagged as psychedelia.

ACID DAZE PART TWO: A Day in My Mind's Mind Vol 2; Fantasies, Polka Dots and Flowers

ACID DAZE PART TWO: A Day in My Mind's Mind Vol 2; Fantasies, Polka Dots and Flowers

Rather than essay this second collection of Kiwi psychedelic songs from '67-'72 -- subtitled "Fantasies, Polka Dots and Flowers" -- why don't I just reproduce below the liner notes I wrote for it?.................. The exciting thing about this on-going series of psychedelic music from New Zealand in the late 60s and early 70s is...

Stephen Malkmus and Jicks: Real Emotional Trash (UNSpin)

Stephen Malkmus and Jicks: Real Emotional Trash (UNSpin)

With guitar playing that slips from Blue Cheer's fuzzy density to Television's ethereal astral flights, lyrics that typically defy interpretation, and some of Neil Young's intensity this is quite some statement by the former Pavement frontman who here takes his tight band through everything from driving and economic prog-rock to almost...

The Happy Prince by the La De Das (EMI reissue, 2005)

The Happy Prince by the La De Das (EMI reissue, 2005)

Most people remember Auckland's La De Das for classic r'n'b 60s rock such as How is the Air Up There? and Don't You Stand in My Way, two songs which established them as the Rolling Stones of our hometown. There was much more to them, but this album seemed to pass most people by. Even before Pete Townshend wrote Tommy, band members Bruce...

ACID DAZE PART THREE: A Day in My Mind's Mind Vol 3; 28  Kiwi Psychedelic Trips 1967-72

ACID DAZE PART THREE: A Day in My Mind's Mind Vol 3; 28 Kiwi Psychedelic Trips 1967-72

As with the second volume in this excellent on-going and budget-priced series, I wrote the liner notes to this album and -- with the invaluable research and help of Grant Gillanders who once again chose the tracks and must be on the shortlist of an honour's list for services to Kiwi music -- I also wrote the profiles on the bands who...

JEFFERSON AIRPLANE'S 1993 BOX SET: Fasten your seat belts

JEFFERSON AIRPLANE'S 1993 BOX SET: Fasten your seat belts

History’s such fun. Here are some lyrics from the past to think on: “We are all outlaws in the eyes of America/in order to survive we steal, cheat, lie and [inaudible]/ we are obscene, lawless, hideous, dangerous, dirty, violent and young . . . we are forces of chaos and anarchy.” The singers then toss in the Price noun,...

MUSIC IS MY MADNESS: Ego, drugs and minor chords, musicians who lost the plot

MUSIC IS MY MADNESS: Ego, drugs and minor chords, musicians who lost the plot

The world of music is populated by creative people -- and those around them who offer musicians absurd amounts of money, pampering for their inflating egos and medication for their every ailment, real or imagined. The surprising thing is that more musicians don’t follow Elvis, Britney Spears, Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty...

NUGGETS; ORIGINAL ARTYFACTS FROM THE FIRST PSYCHEDELIC ERA 1965-1968: Diamonds and rough in a box

NUGGETS; ORIGINAL ARTYFACTS FROM THE FIRST PSYCHEDELIC ERA 1965-1968: Diamonds and rough in a box

There's an interesting local observation to be made about this four-CD box set of what is essentially low-rent, lo-fi American garageband rock. But first, a little history. Back in 1972 Lenny Kaye -- later guitarist in Patti Smith's band -- released the original double-vinyl compilation Nuggets. In a garish psychedelic cover...

SANDY EDMONDS: New Zealand's disappearing pop star

SANDY EDMONDS: New Zealand's disappearing pop star

New Zealand pop culture harbours few mysteries, but the disappearance of Sandy Edmonds on the cusp of the 70s is certainly one. Before she vanished the striking, lens-engaging singer -- long honey-blonde hair, sensuous teen-sullen pout and wide-eyed dolly-bird expression -- had been dominant in the music scene since the mid-60s. In 67...

A TECHNICOLOR DREAM (featuring Pink Floyd) DVD

A TECHNICOLOR DREAM (featuring Pink Floyd) DVD

At the end of this fascinating doco about the April '67 happening that was the 14-hour Technicolor Dream event in north London which featured the Syd Barrett-lead Pink Floyd at their early psychedelic peak, Barry Miles says that by the end of the following year everyone was just tired so went off to have sleep for a few years. The cause of...

The Warlocks: Can't Come Down (1965)

The Warlocks: Can't Come Down (1965)

By the mid Sixties the spirit and style of poetic Bob Dylan was everywhere as singers and writers tried to match his surreal wordplay. Dylan's harmonica, image heavy lyrics and monotone is everywhere in this demo by the Warlocks out of San Francisco. Of all the Bob-copyists the Warlocks had the best claim to similar territory: they were...

Sky Cries Mary; 2000 Light Years From Home (1993)

Sky Cries Mary; 2000 Light Years From Home (1993)

A tip? Eat your acid drop right now . . . and . . . and waiting and waiting and  . .. now? Shall we around this point try to be serious? Let us try.  At the same time as grunge was emerging in Seattle there were other things going on in that city, it wasn't all lumberjack shirts and flailing emotional intensity. The...

Daniel Johnston: Is and Always Was (Feraltone)

Daniel Johnston: Is and Always Was (Feraltone)

I'm probably not alone in thinking of Daniel Johnston, not just as some untutored genius and outsider artist, but as someone whose life has often been pitiable and sad. That he is disturbed is beyond question. That said, Johnston's no-fi cassette recordings (some of which have turned up on CD over the years), can be transfixing for their...

I WANT TO TAKE YOU HIGHER: THE PSYCHEDELIC YEARS 1965-69 edited by JAMES HENKE AND PARKE PUTERBAUGH

I WANT TO TAKE YOU HIGHER: THE PSYCHEDELIC YEARS 1965-69 edited by JAMES HENKE AND PARKE PUTERBAUGH

Somewhere among my old photographs at home is one of me standing beside John Lennon’s psychedelic Rolls Royce. It was London in late ‘69 and -- aside from revealing the embarrassing affectation of a black cape -- it‘s most interesting for what is in the background: a Morris Minor of the kind that was considerably more common...

13th Floor Elevators: 7th Heaven; Music of the Spheres (Charly/Southbound)

13th Floor Elevators: 7th Heaven; Music of the Spheres (Charly/Southbound)

As with Syd Barrett, the music of 13th Floor Elevators has been overshadowed by the story of the madness, in the case of the Elevators the increasingly bizarre behaviour of their frontman Roky Erickson. Out of Austin, Texas in the mid Sixties, the Elevators were a raw and elemental garageband along the lines of England's Downliners Sect and...

The Gun: Race with the Devil (1967)

The Gun: Race with the Devil (1967)

In the age of Cream (mid '66 to late '68), Blue Cheer and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the power trio became an established form and this group from Buckinghamshire -- two brothers and another -- took the hard rock, guitar pyrotechnics sound to the top of the British charts with this single. And that was about it for them. That's actually...

Timothy Leary: You Can Be Anyone This Time Around (1970)

Timothy Leary: You Can Be Anyone This Time Around (1970)

Older, if not wiser, "heads" will know exactly who Dr Timothy Leary was -- an advocate of the widespread use of LSD to change cultural consciousness and to open individuals to the vastness of the cosmos within and without. Tune in, turn on and drop out became a mantra in the late Sixties. His album You Can Be Anyone This Time...

Moby Grape: Just Like Gene Autry: A Foxtrot (1968)

Moby Grape: Just Like Gene Autry: A Foxtrot (1968)

Varying the speed of tapes in the studio is not uncommon, but asking that your listener get up and change the speed of their record player on an album is another thing entirely. Certainly there have been singles which play one side at 45 and the other at 33 (often 12" singles or EPs from the Eighties) -- but in '68 the increasingly...

Crowded House and Roger McGuinn: Eight Miles High (1989)

Crowded House and Roger McGuinn: Eight Miles High (1989)

Recorded live at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles when Crowded House met up with former Byrd Roger McGuinn, this song -- and their versions of Mr Tambourine Man and So You Want to be a Rock'n'Roll Star -- appeared on a '91 version of the CD single for Weather With You (other versions had live Crowdies tracks from the period). Not the most...

Pavlov's Dog: Julia (1975)

Pavlov's Dog: Julia (1975)

Sometimes there is just That Voice . . . a vocal delivery which is arresting, sublime, idiotic and otherworldly all that same time. And so it was with the vocals of David Surkamp, the singer with the prog-rock band Pavlov's Dog out of St Louis, who seemed to possess in equal parts the sound of Robert Plant's high drama, Leo Sayer on steroids...

Freur: Pronunciation/Audiobiography/Hold Me Mother (1983)

Freur: Pronunciation/Audiobiography/Hold Me Mother (1983)

A decade before Prince became TAFKAP (The Artist Formerly Known As Prince) and adopted an odd symbol instead of a name, this band of mysterious origins also did the same. They insisted their name was the even more odd pictogram which appeared on the cover of their Doot Doot single, but at the counter-insistence of their record company CBS...

Hawklords: 25 Years On (Esoteric/Southbound)

Hawklords: 25 Years On (Esoteric/Southbound)

This will be reasonably brief because there is perhaps a limited audience for this double CD reissue of the '78 album and EP by an off-shoot of the sci-fi prog-rock band Hawkwind. Inspired by the science fiction of Michael Moorcock, Hawkwind's Dave Brock and Robert Calvert created Hawklords after Hawkwind briefly fell apart (they are still a...

Bernard Butler: Woman I Know (1998)

Bernard Butler: Woman I Know (1998)

Was it Bob Dylan who said something to the effect, "amateurs borrow, professionals steal"? Not to encourage plagiarism, but Bernard Butler certainly took a leaf or two -- if not a whole chapter -- from the Book of Fleetwood Mac for this track which uses Albatross as it's starting point -- but then doesn't go too far with it....

Turtle Island String Quartet: Have You Ever Been . . . (Telarc/Ode)

Turtle Island String Quartet: Have You Ever Been . . . (Telarc/Ode)

Classical artists playing the music of Jimi Hendrix is hardly a new idea: the Kronos Quartet had a crowd-pleasing built-in encore of Purple Haze when they first started out, and of course Nigel Kennedy finally made good on his threat/promise to do an album of Hendrix. Before them however in the mid Seventies Gil Evans arranged some Hendrix...

Ken Nordine: Now Nordine (extract only, 1975?)

Ken Nordine: Now Nordine (extract only, 1975?)

In the mid Seventies a friend of mine living in West Virginia started sending me cassettes of a programme that beamed out late at night on Public Radio. It was called Now Nordine and all I knew at the time was that it was "made possible by a grant from . . . anonymous". They were weird half-trips into strange references (snippets...

Ken Nordine: Word Jazz; The Complete 1950s Recordings (Chrome Dreams/Triton)

Ken Nordine: Word Jazz; The Complete 1950s Recordings (Chrome Dreams/Triton)

Ken Nordine's voice -- assured, resonant, clear -- was his passport into radio where he worked as an announcer and narrator. But he was also of the Jazz Generation and in the Fifties he anticipated the Beats by blending poetry and music and then creating his Word Jazz recordings in which he would recite poems, unusual prose-poems and stories...

JEFF KELLY AND THE GREEN PAJAMAS: The other sound of Seattle

JEFF KELLY AND THE GREEN PAJAMAS: The other sound of Seattle

One day, just before I went to the Pacific Northwest, I had lunch with a friend. When I told him I was going to Seattle he said, "Are you going to see Green Pajamas?" I had no idea what he was talking about, I thought he meant some stage play.At this point my friend -- who has a big-time job in a major record company --...

The Savage Rose: A Girl I Knew (1968)

The Savage Rose: A Girl I Knew (1968)

Since Richie Unterberger wrote Unknown Legends of Rock'n'Roll: Psychedelic Unknowns, Mad Genuises, Punk Pioneers, Lo-Fi Mavericks and More in 1998, many of the artists he unearthed (Wanda Jackson, the Chocolate Watch Band, Roky Erickson, Can etc) have enjoyed some considerable cult -- and sometimes even mainstream, success. Jeez, Sandy Denny...

Procol Harum: The Best of, Then and Now (Salvo)

Procol Harum: The Best of, Then and Now (Salvo)

It is hard to believe -- and somewhat sad -- that the authorship of Whiter Shade of Pale, this group's defining moment (and which also captured the dreamy, surreal English Summer of Love in '67), should only have been resolved in Britain's House of Lords a few years ago. It's also a shame that -- just as in any film about the war in Vietnam...

BLUES MAGOOS 1966-68: Pop's psychedelic pioneers

BLUES MAGOOS 1966-68: Pop's psychedelic pioneers

Some albums catch a band at a turning point, one foot in the past and the other stepping towards an unknown but promising future. If the Beatles, through exhaustion and wrung out by the constant pressure to produce, had called it a day in late 1965 their legacy would have been easy to distill down: a few joyfully adolescent pop hits,...

Sir Douglas Quintet: Lawd I'm Just a Country Boy in This Great Big Freaky City (1968)

Sir Douglas Quintet: Lawd I'm Just a Country Boy in This Great Big Freaky City (1968)

When this song was written, Doug Sahm -- singer, writer and frontman for the Sir Douglas Quintet -- was feeling somewhat jaded about the hippie paradise that had been San Francisco. He and the band were from Texas and in the mid-Sixties had, like so many, moved to the Bay Area to enjoy whatever was happening there. But increasingly the...

JEFFERSON AIRPLANE; THE SIDE PROJECTS 1970-74: The Baron and the Nun go it alone, together

JEFFERSON AIRPLANE; THE SIDE PROJECTS 1970-74: The Baron and the Nun go it alone, together

The New York garageband Blues Magoos' Psychedelic Lollipop of 1966 was one of the first albums to have the word “psychedelic” in the title, but it wasn't quite the spaced-out sweet thing the name suggested. 13th Floor Elevators out of Texas the same year with their debut The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators...

The Great! Society: Somebody to Love (1966)

The Great! Society: Somebody to Love (1966)

There were at least three different versions of this psychedelic classic which is best known in its third incarnation by Jefferson Airplane. But the song dated back to before that '66 single/album track -- back to the band that singer Grace Slick was in before she joined the Airplane. Her previous group -- with her husband Jerry and his...

THE BARGAIN BUY: The La De Da's

THE BARGAIN BUY: The La De Da's

New Zealand may not have much of a lineage of purely politcal rock music, but there has always been a strong thread of social dissent. Punks certainly didn't invent songs about boring people living in the suburbs (there were dozens in the psychedelic era of course) and any number of mid-Sixties bands stood in opposition to whatever normal life...

Barry McGuire: California Dreamin' (1965)

Barry McGuire: California Dreamin' (1965)

After his growling and apocalyptic version of PF Sloan's Eve of Destruction in '65 the former folkie Barry McGuire -- who had been in the New Christy Minstrels and had co-written their big hit Green Green -- was looking for new material to include on his second album. Producer Lou Adler lined up a number of covers -- the Beatles' Yesterday...

The Mamas and the Papas: Free Advice (1967)

The Mamas and the Papas: Free Advice (1967)

Although they looked kind of clean-cut by the hairy standards of the day and sang such pretty songs, what we would learn later was how fraught and seedy some of the internal workings of The Mamas and the Papas were. The song Go Where You You Wanna Go for example was less about living your life in the hippie spirit than John Phillips' address...

Janis Joplin: Trouble in Mind (1965)

Janis Joplin: Trouble in Mind (1965)

The great Janis Joplin has been dead for over four decades now but it would be fair to observe that no woman in rock has ever approached her deep understanding of the blues and earthy, powerful delivery . . . let alone her self-destructive approach to life. Yet she has been largely forgotten and, as this essay notes, no one seems in any mind...

Peter Sarstedt: Mary Jane (1969)

Peter Sarstedt: Mary Jane (1969)

If people remember UK singer-songwriter Peter Sarstedt for anything at all it is his European-sounding ballad Where Do You Go to My Lovely? . . . and perhaps his summery follow-up One More Frozen Orange Juice. Both were hits in '69, the former winning him an Ivor Novello songwriting award. Sarstedt was the younger brother of Eden Kane --...

WHEN YOU'RE STRANGE; A FILM ABOUT THE DOORS, a doco by TOM DICILLO (Madman DVD)

WHEN YOU'RE STRANGE; A FILM ABOUT THE DOORS, a doco by TOM DICILLO (Madman DVD)

Two things strike you immediately about this much vaunted and Grammy award-winning doco: That Jim Morrison was a man of brooding good looks except when he smiled and then he looked just plain goofy (and there is a lot of him smiling and laughing in the early footage here); and that the script which Johnny Depp reads in a tired monotone seems to...

Various: Get a Haircut compilation (2007)

Various: Get a Haircut compilation (2007)

Back in the mid Sixties Auckland’s Fair Sect Plus One -- originally an all-girl band called the Fair Sect who adopted the new name with the arrival of their male drummer -- released a terrific single with a raging bagpipe solo. At least I think it was terrific, I can’t say for certain. I only heard it once -- on a transistor...

GREETINGS FROM ROUTE 66, edited by MICHAEL DREGNI

GREETINGS FROM ROUTE 66, edited by MICHAEL DREGNI

When, in 1946, Bobby Troup wrote what became his classic song Route 66, he could hardly have anticipated how popular it would become. After all, he'd really only written a few words and the hook (“get your kicks on Route 66”, which may have been his wife's suggestion) and after that he just filled the song up with the place...

Ray Manzarek/Roy Rogers: Translucent Blues (Blind Pig)

Ray Manzarek/Roy Rogers: Translucent Blues (Blind Pig)

Given his organ playing was such an integral part of the Doors' sound, it's surprising Ray Manzarek's subsequent four decade career has garnered so little attention, although to be fair it has thrown up few decent albums. I recall trading in his Carmina Burana within a week of getting it in the early Eighties and just last month I paid $5...

Scorpio Rising: Peace Frog (1992)

Scorpio Rising: Peace Frog (1992)

For a short while Scorpio Rising out of Liverpool seemed to point a new direction in British rock post-Stone Roses. They formed the year of the Stone Roses' impressive debut and had a similarly psychedelic approach to rock guitars and dance beats. After their single Watermelon and EP IF, they were in demand on the live circuit, released...

PINK FLOYD, PART ONE 1967-72: Before the dark side

PINK FLOYD, PART ONE 1967-72: Before the dark side

When Johnny Rotten wrote “I hate” on a Pink Floyd t-shirt, he probably didn't have much room left to get into specifics. After all, even by 1976 when the Sex Pistols emerged there had been a lot of different Pink Floyds for him to hate. Nine album's worth in fact. There had been the brief period in '67 when Syd Barrett...

PINK FLOYD, PART TWO 1972 - 83: After Dark to the unkindest Cut

PINK FLOYD, PART TWO 1972 - 83: After Dark to the unkindest Cut

Despite the textual analysis possible on Wish You Were Here in 1975 and the gargantuan theatrics of The Wall (a largely unlistenable album and often as dull as its cover), it is always The Dark Side of the Moon where the Pink Floyd story pivots. That album -- 50 million sold, in the Billboard top 200 for more than 14 years after its release...

Roger Waters: Money, demo (1972)

Roger Waters: Money, demo (1972)

One of the most interesting aspects of popular music reissues is when an expanded edition of a classic album (or artist) offers working drawings of songs which became -- usually much embellished or in some later form -- massive hits. Back in the Eighties Pete Townshend of the Who began offering his double-vinyl home demo albums under the...

STEVE WILSON OF PORCUPINE TREE INTERVIEWED (2011): Setting controls to the heart of his prog

STEVE WILSON OF PORCUPINE TREE INTERVIEWED (2011): Setting controls to the heart of his prog

Steven Wilson doesn't sound remotely angry, just weary, when he says a major British newspaper declined to review his new album Grace For Drowning. They said he was too under-the-radar and no one knew who he was.“Well, that's frustrating,” he sighs, “because most of the music they write about is completely unknown and...

Wooden Shjips: West (Fuse)

Wooden Shjips: West (Fuse)

Wooden Shjips (sic) out of San Francisco once again serve up their particular brand of astral plane psychedelic drone-rock which sounds filtered through steel wool. Their appealing tripped-out grunge sits somewhere along the faultline of their city's Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane and a full volume, garageband metal overhaul of...

King Crimson: Lizard remixed, 40th Anniversary Edition, 2011 (KCSP3/Southbound)

King Crimson: Lizard remixed, 40th Anniversary Edition, 2011 (KCSP3/Southbound)

Of all the albums in the early King Crimson catalogue -- those between their '69 debut In The Court of the Crimson King and Red in '74 -- Lizard is the one which has most divided critics and fans. Even KC founder and sole constant Robert Fripp has considered it largely unloved, and he doesn't strike anyone as being modest about his music....

Green Pajamas: Just a Breath Away (2000)

Green Pajamas: Just a Breath Away (2000)

Although many tried -- especially in the Britpop era -- to bottle the essence of the Beatles' music at the cusp of marijuana and LSD (Rubber Soul and Revolver), few managed it with as much maturity, sensibility and persuasive power of the song as Green Pajamas out of Seattle, and they frequently did it at the time when grunge affection was...

Green Pajamas: Green Pajamas Country! (Green Monkey Records)

Green Pajamas: Green Pajamas Country! (Green Monkey Records)

Although we have learned that Jeff Kelly of Seattle's Green Pajamas -- a band which has consistently delivers seductive and intelligent paisley-pop grounded in the spirit of the mid-Sixties, see here -- grew up playing country music with his father, this new album is something of a surprise. But a surprise in a good way. With...

JIMI HENDRIX IN 2011: Return to Winterland 1968

JIMI HENDRIX IN 2011: Return to Winterland 1968

From the moment Jimi Hendrix arrived in London in the early hours of September 24 1966 to his death in the same city just a few days short of four years later, he seemed to be constantly moving, playing and recording. He played his first jam in London the night he arrived, and a fortnight later -- after jamming with the Brian Auger Trinity,...

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